Arts, Culture & Media

200 Arrested in Raid on Latin American Wood Mafia

RTR3602L-e1361474911746.jpg

Illegally logged trees are stored on a truck which was abandoned on the side of the Trans-Amazonian highway near the village of Areias in Trairao, in the state of Para May 27, 2012. In the 19 months since Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff took office, longstanding rules that curtail deforestation and protect millions of square kilometers of watershed have been rolled back. She issued an executive order to shrink or repurpose seven protected woodlands, making way for hydroelectric dams and other infrastructure projects, and to legalize settlements by farmers and miners. Picture taken May 27, 2012. To match Special Report BRAZIL-ENVIRONMENT/BACKSLIDE REUTERS/Nacho Doce (BRAZIL - Tags: POLITICS ENVIRONMENT BUSINESS) - RTR3602L

Credit:

REUTERS

An Interpol operation has led to the arrest of nearly 200 people in one of the biggest raids on suspected illegal timber operations ever undertaken in Latin America.

Player utilities

This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.

2,000 truckloads of wood were seized worth approximately $8 million.

Jeremy McDermott is with InSightCrime, a think tank to study of organized crime in the Americas.

He speaks with anchor Aaron Schachter about the growing eco-trafficking industry in Latin America.